Letters to the Editor With freedom comes responsibility
To the editor:
God bless America and our democratic freedoms! But help us not to forget that democracy depends upon individuals to make it work and freedom has many definitions.
Today the world can and does tune in to our daily news. We have brought students from all over the earth to learn our language and see what a strong democracy can do for its people. We believed they would go home and help their countries develop and build better lives for their people in democratic societies.
Perhaps we forgot they would be reading our daily newspapers and watching our TV and going to our movies. When we deplore the Barqas for women in Afghanistan do we compare them to our public beach nudity, the nudity in our commercials and movies? Wouldn't you if you were Muslim? When we discuss multiple wives, do we compare the custom with endless succession of women without any marriage? The Afghan children are pitiful without food and proper care, but our media almost daily reports children murdered by their own parents. Pornography hides on our TV and computers. Child molesters must register as they move into new neighborhoods, but child killings go unsolved.
Even food being given to starving people loses a little impact when distributed by any of the 60 percent of Americans who are now obese and the news that even now our school children are becoming obese.
Our colleges who were to help educate the brightest of the world now say they didn't even know if some of the foreign students even registered for classes, but they don't want any restrictions which would result in their loss of tuition.
If American students seem to find nothing to do over weekends but go to a bar, what do foreign non-drinkers write home about that?
While we want them to plow up their poppy fields we print new figures on drug usage increasing in America.
We are in a war for men's souls. Democracy is a noble concept, and freedom can mean a beautiful existence, but freedom depends on the individual, on his own, without governmental coercion, taking responsibility for his own actions, and recognizing that his freedom depends on himself first. This must be learned in the home, in school, and in our institutions. And, yes, taught to new citizens.
Freedom loving Americans must accept that their freedoms will be constantly monitored so that their safety and health and happiness does not cause suffering to others.
We are probably right if we think other countries envy our great wealth and standard of living, but envy can equate with hate and we should realize they do not think democracy has solved our problems, nor will solve theirs. Democracy will always depend on each individual, monitoring his freedom in relation to the probable effect on others.
May God Bless America.
Kathleen B. Block
Senate bill better for farmers
To the editor:
As someone who has spent his entire life involved in agriculture, I have been paying close attention to the two versions of the farm bill in the Senate and the House. It is evident to me that the Senate bill is the only version that will really help South Dakota family farmers. The House version seems to be aimed at pleasing special interests and agribusiness instead of the family farmers who really need the assistance.
The differences between the two bills are obvious. The Senate bill protects ranchers from huge meat packers putting them out of business, while the House bill does nothing. The Senate bill targets payments to the farmers and ranchers who need assistance; while the House bill continues to give all the money to the corporate producers.
The Senate bill requires country-of-origin labeling for imported cuts of beef, pork, lamb, and ground beef, along with produce and farm-raised fish. The House bill only targets produce.
Sen. Johnson has fought hard for the important provisions in the Senate bill and I for one will remember that when I go to the polls in November.